Just because a weeknight dinner needs to be quick and simple doesn’t mean it can’t be healthy or packed with flavor. This Spiralized Zucchini with Roasted Tomatoes is ready in under a half hour and more wholesome and healthy than traditional spaghetti and meatballs. Don’t worry, you can still twirl the noodles on your fork!
Given this is my first guest post, I feel compelled to share something very personal. I’m slightly obsessed with my Spiralizer. I received a Spiralizer a year ago as a birthday gift, and it changed the way I eat vegetables. This easy-to-use kitchen tool transforms vegetables – such as zucchini, sweet potatoes, carrots, and beets – into beautiful noodles of various sizes. My vegetable intake has certainly increased thanks to this handy gadget. One of my favorite uses is fresh zucchini noodles in place of pasta, although the possibilities are endless (including hearty casseroles and sandwich wrap filling).
There’s a time for simmering homemade sauce – or gravy, depending on where you stand in the terminology debate. Like, Sunday afternoons…not busy weeknights. This short-cut recipe is one of my favorites, and frankly, I prefer it over the traditional sauce I grew up with (oh boy, hope my mom isn’t reading this). On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss grape tomatoes, thinly sliced shallots, and whole garlic cloves, then generously season with salt and pepper. After 20 minutes in the oven, the tomatoes have blistered and softened, the flavor and sweetness more concentrated.
Then, the fun part. With a fork, smash everything on the baking sheet until it forms a lovely, saucy mess. After the smashing fun, stir everything together until it forms a robust sauce. The final result evokes the essence of summer, when tomatoes are sun ripened and so sweet you could eat them raw and unseasoned. This sauce, with the sweetness of the roasted tomatoes and shallots balanced by the roasted garlic, is one I can eat straight with a fork. I sometimes do, then remember the zucchini noodles (zoodles?).
The zucchini noodles only take 3-5 minutes to cook in a skillet. Faster than pasta! All you really want to do is get the zucchini noodles hot, rather than cooking through, otherwise the noodles turn wet and a bit mushy. I’ve cooked them too long way too many times, which also results in a lot of excess liquid in the pan and on the plate. We cannot have our sauce diluted! The noodles are best al dente style, softened slightly, but still with bite and texture.
Feel free to top the bowl off with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese. If it’s not Meatless Monday, it will pair nicely with grilled chicken or shrimp. Hope you enjoy!
- 2 pints grape tomatoes, rinsed and patted dry
- 2 large zucchini, spiralized
- 1 large shallot, sliced thin
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Place the grape tomatoes, shallot slices, and whole garlic cloves on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil over top, then season generously with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
- Roast the tomatoes, shallots, and garlic cloves for 20 minutes, until the tomatoes blister and start to burst open.
- Remove baking sheet from oven. With a fork, smash the ingredients together, including the garlic cloves, on the baking sheet. Stir together and season with 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes, if desired.
- Heat remaining 1 tsp olive oil in a medium sized skillet over medium high heat. Add the spiralized zucchini noodles and cook for 3-5 minutes, until noodles are heated through but still have bite and texture (think al dente).
- Divide the zucchini into four bowls, and top with the sauce. Garnish with cheese, if desired. Serve immediately.
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